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Pune's Lal and the People Continues To Turn the Clock Back

May 13, 06:07pm

‘Cryin’ Shame’ is proof that a passionate community of rock musicians still exists

While it’s beyond debate at this point that there are nowhere near as many new rock acts in Indian indie than there were some years ago (the less generous among you have argued that there are none at all), what hasn’t changed is that bands or artists that established themselves earlier in the 2010s and prior are still plugging away, putting out new music (a glance at the last handful of Mahindra Blues festival lineups would tell the same story). One of them is Lal and the People, who started a decade ago and is still making solid blues and rock. ‘Cryin’ Shame’ is his quality new single.

This song is something of an emotional, feel-good and vocal-forward approach to the genre, with bluesy elements more informing the writing than taking the spotlight. There is an unquantifiable ‘thing’ that happens when artists play a genre that has been around for a long time and has developed some element of tradition to it; the writing is mature and measured, the band’s instrumentation is equally poised (and obviously there’s decades of listeners getting more and more familiar with the sound)… Lal and the People does exactly this. Everything’s just so: the chorus vocals, subtle lead parts that sometimes play behind vocals, sometimes in front, a short piano lead that then becomes an organ lead, a drum groove that is in the pocket without being too lilting, and a big guitar solo to cap it all off. Now, of course a song in this genre is going to have a certain structure and vibe that is very, very telegraphed, but as ‘Cryin’ Shame’ proves, it doesn’t matter much if you do it right.

 

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